As if the "Where's Hillary?" meme hadn't picked up enough conspiratorial steam, it appears that some continue to believe Sen. John Kerry somehow might not get confirmed as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's successor until Republican Senators successfully drag her to testify about the Benghazi attacks. The murmurs continued in a report from Foreign Policy's Josh Rogin, who in the midst of an otherwise dull roundup on Kerry's transition team continued to float this curious gossip:
The Senate is expected to take up Kerry's nomination in early January, but multiple Republican senators have already said they won't agree to a vote on Kerry's nomination until Clinton testifies about the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi. Illness and a concussion has prevented Clinton from appearing thus far.
"Thus far." Benghazi? Again? Really? If a flock of GOP senators want to ensure Clinton has all the time in the world to submit her testimony regarding the September 11 attacks in Libya, well, it appears they're running out: Clinton sent two deputies to testify when she suffered a concussion — she's "in good spirits" and excited about Kerry's nomination, the president says — and has responded to a scathing report on the State Department's handling of the attack. People have been fired. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee's confirmation hearings on the attack have been thorough, and they will be separate — officially, anyway — from the same committee's confirmation hearing, which was previously expected to sail through.
But now the calls for Clinton to come back before the Senate may be returning to the conservative press. Could they have anything to do with trying to manufacture another controversy over Secretary of State Clinton's recent health issues? As we noted last week, feigned concern for Hillary's health was already something of a nascent conservative meme.
Since then, Breitbart.com's Meredith Dake has asked:
Where is Secretary Clinton? And why is she allowing proxies to defend the security failures at her State Department? When will she talk to Congress, the press, or the President about the findings of the Benghazi review board's report? Is the Secretary at home "working?"
Today, Daniel Halper at the Weekly Standard, asked:
What's Hillary Clinton's status? Her situation is serious enough to sideline her for two weeks, but we still don't know what's going on. How serious is it? Does it prevent her carrying out the secretary of state duties?
Which, of course, led one Matthew Drudge to ask today:
It's still unclear, in any case, how a handful of GOP Senators would manage to "block" Kerry's confirmation, given the possible absence of any further Clinton testimony.